The Educational Impact of iPads - What the Research Says

A selection of research findings from around the world, from Kindergarten to Higher Education, that attribute the implementation of iPads to being a significant contributing factor for increased student learning outcomes in those environments.

iPads for Learning – Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Victoria
• The iPad, as a device, has functionality and features that enhance its use as an effective and engaging learning tool.
• 90% of students said that learning was more fun when using the iPads.
• iPads in the trial had a significantly greater educational impact and were more successfully implemented in primary and special school settings.
Source: Department of Education (Victoria)

iPads in Special Education – Department of Education, training and Employment, Queensland
The benefits of the iPad as an assistive device for students with multiple impairments, particularly using the Splashtop Whiteboard app, were overwhelmingly positive, with great feedback from trial teachers, students and parents. With an increase in student engagement, introducing iPads is a step forward for technologies used in special education.

iPads in Schools: Use Testing - Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta
A pilot study found that despite some methodological caveats, the iPad is a significant tool to support and enhance student learning. The iPad showed extensive affordances as a learning tool (due to its portability and fit-for-task suitability) especially in relation to the development of Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, Decision-Making, Research and Information Fluency.

Tablet Technology for Education Department of Education, Western Australia
When part of a balanced educational program, tablet devices can be powerful tools for improving literacy and numeracy outcomes. The combination of engaging tasks, multi-sensory input and immediate feedback can be highly effective in helping students meet curriculum requirements.

iPads Improve Kindergarten Literacy Scores- as reported by TUAW
A research study, conducted in Auburn, Maine showed that Kindergartner students using iPads scored much higher on literacy tests than students that didn’t use the device.

iPad-equipped medical school class scores 23 percent higher on exams- University of California
University of California Irvine medical school reported iPad equipped medical students scored 23 percent higher on national exams than previous unequipped classes.

1:1 iPad Initiative: A Four Year Study and Review- Franklin Academy, North Carolina
The K-12 iPad initiative at the Franklin Academy has concluded its fourth year. The combination of sta observations and student feedback through the included survey gives clear indication of the impact the device has had on the learning environment. The initial goals of increased student engagement, development of 21st Century Skills, and increased in eciency of teaching and learning now have evidence to document progress.

The iPad as a tool for Education - Naace Research
In the first two terms of implementing an iPad programme, Longfield Academy, in Kent UK, have noticed a great impact on teaching and learning. The outcomes at Longfield clearly demonstrate the value of the iPad as an educational tool and the role that it can play in learning and teaching.

iPad Research in Schools - The Technology Enhanced Learning Research Group
The TELR group has completed the first national evaluation to investigate the use and impact of tablet technologies (in this case the iPad), across schools and homes in Scotland. The adoption of mobile technologies on a personal basis significantly increases access to technology for students, both inside and beyond school, with many attendant benefits for learning which include greater motivation, engagement, parental involvement, and understanding of complex ideas.

Students Upwardly Mobile with iPads- as reported in TES Connect
Students become more creative and independent when given their own tablet computer, according to a study on the use of mobile technology in Edinburgh schools.


The Educational Impact of iPads - What Teachers and Students Say

A selection of the large amount of qualitative information available online where educators are sharing their experiences, thoughts and knowledge in the effective use of iPads at the classroom level.

Cedars School of Excellence
Cedars is known as the home of the world's first whole-school 1:1 iPad programme. Because we receive many enquiries about this every week - more than we can easily handle - this page is designed to answer your initial questions about our iPad deployment.

Is it the iPad, the Apps or the User?
“In a school setting, the iPad brings big changes to the learning experience. It takes mobile learning to a level far beyond the laptop. Its tactile interface brings the learner in direct contact with the screen with positives and negatives. The touch screen allows for direct drawing, handwriting and screen navigation beyond the capabilities of a mouse of trackpad.”

Realizing the Dream of Developing Lifelong Learners
We are beginning our 4th year working with iPads and our second year of a K-12 1:1 iPad initiative in our district. We’ve learned so much about teaching with iPad during these 4-years and now have a solid grasp of the true transformational power of the iPad in education. For us, the iPad has proven to be the tool that ties together all of the promises of incorporating technology into education.

iPaddling through 4th Grade
Collaboration and Teamwork happen at its best on a daily basis! I learn so much from my third graders each day. They airplay tips, suggestions, and how to use the apps; as well as share their work and projects when working on curriculum. Students become the teacher, and ownership of their learning happens when they are in charge. Students teach each other, their parents, and staff.

103 Interesting ways to use iPads in the Classroom
This is just one example of the many posts teachers are making to share how they are using iPads in their classrooms. Best used as a source of ideas.

6 Ways to Learn Collaboratively with iPads
You’ve heard “collaboration” repeatedly referenced as an important 21st century skill. With built-in interfaces for connectivity, mobile devices such as iPads offer a wide variety of alternatives for people wanting to connect and work together. Collaboration can take many forms in an educational context and you may want to consider different tools depending on your specific objectives.

The Smart Way to Use iPads in the Classroom
The school has an unconventional take on the iPad’s purpose. The devices are not really valued as portable screens or mobile gaming devices. Teachers I talked to seemed uninterested, almost dismissive, of animations and gamelike apps. Instead, the tablets were intended to be used as video cameras, audio recorders, and multimedia notebooks of individual students’ creations. The teachers cared most about how the devices could capture moments that told stories about their students’ experiences in school. Instead of focusing on what was coming out of the iPad, they were focused on what was going into it.

How a 5-Year-Old Used An iPad To Become A Published Author
In 2012 John Tambunan became one of the youngest ever publishers on Apple’s iBookstore. His book ‘Little Fish’ has been downloaded across the world over 8000 times.

Middle School iPad Program – Unley High School South Australia
The launch of our Middle School Mobile Learning Program occurred on Thursday 26 April 2012. This is an exciting time for us all, teachers and students. We aim to engage our students in learning the skills they need to be active participants in the global society in which we all live. Contains several videos of teachers and students discussing their experiences.


Why iPad Programs Fail

It is rarely the technology that fails, far more commonly it is the implementation and planning, or lack thereof, that is the reason. In all of the above cases, the main reason why iPads have been successful is because the schools involved are focused on building teacher capacity and improved learning outcomes, rather than simply chasing technology. They have planned thoroughly and have supported committed teachers who are making the most of the technology in their classrooms.

The recent widely reported LA School District cancellation of a $30 million contract fro iPads is a good example of a failure of vision rather than a failure of technology. There are other examples of failures, although small by comaprison to the success stories. In each case, if you carefully read the reason for the failure, it will be apparent that there was no vision and it was the technology that was expected to drive the change. As stated on the Home Page of this wiki : "No device in itself transforms learning - effective and creative teaching does that".

Schools that simply follow a trend and buy iPads because everyone else is, without adequate planning and provision for staff development, are setting themselves up for failure or very limited improvement.

Deploy 2014 is a series of podcasts on iTunes designed to assist in leading a major technology deployment in your school or organisation. The series is published as a regular podcast feed and this page gathers and organises each of the posts in the series, along with a summary of the content.